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Volvo Trucks maintains that from the outset, the Volvo FMX has been designed for conditions where the main requirement is to pull heavy loads over rough terrain and up steep gradients, including quarrying and mining applications
Volvo Trucks maintains that from the outset, the Volvo FMX has been designed for conditions where the main requirement is to pull heavy loads over rough terrain and up steep gradients, including quarrying and mining applications

Off-road all-rounder an attractive option

A collaboration of Volvo Trucks and Volvo Construction Equipment, the new heavy duty Volvo FMX off-road truck is designed for heavy construction, mining and quarrying duties.

The new FMX truck was proudly unveiled by Volvo Trucks to customers and the trade media, including Quarry, on 25 and 26 November, 2011, at the Melbourne 4 x 4 Training and Proving Ground at Werribee, in Melbourne’s west.

Over the two days, Volvo Trucks’ guests had the opportunity to test-drive the new vehicle in its 6 x 4 and 6 x 6 models in a combination of dry and wet conditions, with Melbourne’s heavens downing around 40mm of rainfall on the test-driving range on the Saturday.

Volvo Trucks maintains that from the outset, the Volvo FMX has been designed for conditions where the main requirement is to pull heavy loads over rough terrain and up steep gradients, including quarrying and mining applications. The FMX – available in 6 x 4, 6 x 6 and 8 x 4 models – has a starting payload of 42.5 tonnes for the average trailer and can be factory-built to carry a maximum payload of up to 70 tonnes. It is available in two engine series, with Euro 5 power/torque – the D11 (displacement of 11 litres), with power output of 330 to 450 horsepower, and the D13 (displacement of 13 litres), with power output of 460 to 500 hp. The engines are built to Volvo’s traditional design, with in-line six-cylinder diesel units with turbocharger and intercooler.


The FMX boasts a rugged steel bumper with 3mm thick outer corners, a full-bodied skid plate and heavy duty central towing device shunting weights of up to 25 tonnes (eg a ute or smaller truck that gets caught in bog). A higher air intake position on the day cab optimises high air throughput to the engine and a higher location improves visibility when reversing and minimises dust penetration in the air cleaner.

The FMX’s modern headlight design takes its cue from the Volvo Construction Equipment range of dump and haul trucks, with easily replaceable separate lenses for high and low beams, parking lights and turn indicators, recessed fog lamps in the bumper, and durable headlight mesh protection. It also has robust rear-view mirrors with sturdy mountings for withstanding tough treatment and slim mirror arms for optimal forward vision in off-road conditions.

For extra safety in all weather conditions, the FMX carries an anti-slip cab instep with an optional foldable extension step on the driver and passenger side doors. Another anti-slip footstep is mounted into the front skip plate for easier and convenient access to the windscreen (an extra foldable extension step or a front grab handle at the upper grill are optional extras). A practical hand rail and ladder to the side of the day cab also make it easier for the driver to move around and check the load platform and load.


The 6 x 4 tipper that was on the rally track bore the closest resemblance to the type of vehicle that would be used in a quarry or mine application. In particular, the typical body on a FMX truck is 15m3 and at the rally track the tipper in demonstrations was loaded by a Volvo wheel loader with a 4.2m3 bucket – ie the tipper body was filled in three bucket loads. However, there is the potential to upscale the body and bin size.

Gary Bone, general manager of Volvo Trucks, explained that the FMX range has been segmented to suit different customer requirements.

“The 6 x 4 tipper configuration had the 6.7 tonne front axle and the air suspension on the back was 21 tonnes, so that gives you an idea of the tare it can carry (27.7 tonnes gross combination weight),” he explained. “The tonnage - the gross combination weight on that 13-litre truck - was 70 tonnes. If customers want to go for bigger bins, they can go up and spec the truck higher with a higher rig suspension that is going to give them bigger combination weights and load weights all the way up to the 6 x 6. If a customer comes in and says ‘I’d like to fit this particular size body to the truck, what would you recommend?’ we have weight information and performance database programs and a technical sales support centre which will give them advice about the best body suited to the best chassis links for the best suspension combinations.”


The FMX is also equipped with the latest technology to promote a safer, more comfortable driving experience. The I-Shift gearbox on the 6 x 4 and 8 x 4 models allows for automatic gear changes and manual transmission choices. The transmission can also be equipped with program packages and functions that can assist in construction, quarrying and mining applications. Unlike the 6 x 4s and 8 x 4s, which are manufactured at Volvo Trucks’ Wacol plant outside Brisbane, the 6 x 6, which is manufactured in Sweden, features an automatic Powertronic transmission.


According to Volvo, the FMX was partly developed in response to the demands of the Australian mining boom, as many mining operations were requesting a vehicle that was both nimble and flexible.  “Our mining customers in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia have had our engineers and our local factory team hard at work for over a decade making their personal modifications to the Volvo FM-model to use in their extreme environments,” explained Gary.   

“A quick glance at this truck and its dominant stance immediately reveals the close connection between Volvo Trucks and our sister company Volvo Construction Equipment, among the world’s leaders in dumpers, excavators and wheel loaders,”he said. “The new, purpose-engineered Volvo FMX exudes confidence, reflecting its capabilities, inside and out.”

Gary says the FMX is all about maximising payload, and minimising expenses.  “We are very impressed with the fuel economy and the reduced service intervals, which we’ve secured with the Euro5 Selective Catalytic Reduction technology.  It’s a new model, but the performance has been proven.”

Damian Christie attended the launch of the Volvo FMX, courtesy of Volvo Trucks.

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Monday, 26 August, 2019 3:06pm
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